The heroes take some time to patch up their wounds and recover from the battle with the earth elementals, very aware that at any moment enemies might appear from the tunnel whence the guard escaped.
And sure enough, about 15 minutes later a figure lurches out of the tunnel. It appears to be some sort of undead, with exposed bones and skull showing through ragged clothes and mud. The heroes ready for battle, but suddenly Mythoras yells “Stop, I think it’s Kleris!” The heroes hold their attacks, as Mythoras and Tito go in for a closer look. They see the flesh regenerating on the bones, skin moving over his head and the confused, dead gaze slowly becomes more aware. It is indeed Kleris, who died a long time ago in the Temple of Howling Hatred.
Kleris himself is confused about how he has returned, and how he ended up in this place. He has vague memories of mud, purple light and massive beasts. He also remembers being dead and enfolded in the visions of his Patron. But now he is here, and obviously for a purpose. As he regenerates he feels more powerful than ever before. He has been a part of his Patron’s vision and understands more of the purpose of the world.
Faith and Kir who have never met Kleris before are understandably nervous, but as Kleris regenerates and looks more and more human they realise that he is an odd but friendly person. They see no other option but to bring him along with them. They update him on their mission, and on what has happened. For some reason he already knows about Layna and Aimn Lu.
After sending the ‘centipede’ ahead to scout, they head further ahead. Kleris uses an illusion to disguise himself as a cultist, and Kir takes the more mundane option of dressing in a dead cultist’s clothes. In the next room they find the guard who escaped, lying dead in front of a Xorn. A mad looking cultist next to the Xorn giggles “he didn’t make a suitable offering to Ogremoch, no no no”. After some debate and only just avoiding a battle, they feed the Xorn a large pile of gems they have amassed. The Xorn seems satisfied and the mad cultist sends them on their way. “Don’t forget,” he says, “We walk in the shadow of Ogremoch!”
They continue ahead, getting attacked by Galeb Duhr on a bridge until Mythoras realises that the mad cultists mutterings were a passphrase. From there they are able to bluff their way past various Earth cultists by pretending to be taking sacrifices through to the portal.
Then, they find themselves in a colossal cavern. It is an alien landscape filled with soaring
stone buttresses, weirdly twisting columns, and gargantuan shards of glowing Kyber crystal. A long path of steps is cut into the uneven floor and wends its way between the mighty
stone pillars to the cavern’s core. There, the steps climb to the base of a stone monolith that is constantly changing its shape, filling the great cavern with a thunderous grinding
noise. They see gargoyles clinging to the columns, black earth guards standing watching the monolith and a hooded robed figure standing directly in front of the monolith. He is holding up a warpick to the monolith, and when he brandishes it the monolith bulges as if something is trying to get out. Something massive.
That’s enough for the heroes, they cast fireballs and stinking clouds over the area where the medusa stands. Then Kleris points at the medusa and a dark portal to Xoriat opens, with mouth covered slimy tentacles pouring out and grabbing at the enemy. However Marlos is not so easily killed and moves out of the area, causing big fissures to appear in the ground which swallow some of the heroes. He then moves forward for melee combat with Kir and Mythoras. Faith polymorphs Tito into a T-Rex which proceeds to kill the gargoyles while she finishes off the guards. Both Mythoras and Kir feel the power of the medusa’s gaze, but are able to hold strong. They continue to battle while the rest of the group polish off the other enemies. Finally, Tito is able to come over, closes his jaws over Marlos’ head, and rips his head off.
The pick, Ironfang, clatters to the ground.